Friday, 13 February 2009
Sport Day, with No Sports to be Seen. Thailand.
I had forgotten about these pictures. I took them back on the 30th of January. I was going past the Sport School and there were some large banners outside stating that one of our Polytechnic Colleges was having their sport day.
Now the thought of these university age girls playing sport and also watching the men hit it out was just too tempting. I headed in and was greeted by this.
There were 8 teams in all. All were different colours with slogans. There was Sweety Pink, Ocean Blue, Orange Attack, Purple Stronger, Green Think Earth, Red Fire, Blue Sky Fresh, and Fun and Yellow Smart.
I sat in the grandstand for a little while waiting for some sports to start. I waited and waited and eventually gave up and left the scores of spectators.
I made my way over to the team colours. Team Sweety Pink was into their cheering routine. I was pretty bemused by all of this. These are older kids and they were doing exactly what I have seen at the school I teach where young kids put all the effort into the cheering and show, rather than the sports.
The pink supporters were trying hard to impress the judges with their routine. Many of the girls were too worried about the sun; the sun is bad in Thailand as your skin goes black.
I have never witnessed this anywhere before, except Thailand. Back home we took our sport days very seriously. Us Aussies have always been very competitive and no matter if it was inter school sport or regional sport days, the emphasis was always on sport.
Here sport is always the background; it takes second place to costumes, dancing and mundane and monotonous cheering. I believe that the Thai schools and universities need to rename these days. Maybe Cheering, Fancy Drees up and Dancing Day.
I watched the pink cheer leaders go through many different cheers. I am not being nasty, but, they were really boring and as about as exciting as watching paint dry. The horrible shrill cries of the leader of the cheer team were bone chilling.
The crowds were absolutely enthralled by the performance and were on their feet clapping and dancing, not!
After the pink team finished I was hoping for some sports but sadly team purple then made their way out to do their routine.
As predictable as a bear having to shit in the woods, they started with a school anthem.
Arms started going in all directions as the song was being sung.
The purple supporters stood to attention with hands clenched on their hearts; this wasn’t the Thai National Anthem, but a school song. Talk about school spirit. I couldn’t stay and go through all the teams doing their routines, maybe the sport was going to be later in the day.
I didn’t see one person that looked like an athlete, no football players or anything to resemble that a sport might be going to be played. I thought that only primary and secondary schools did this. But now I know the whole education system is totally nuts. It is good to have supporters for your sports team, but you need a sports team and sports to be played though to cheer and get excited.
What I did see was groups of people sitting under trees in the shade drinking beer and whiskey, so maybe it was more of a social day and not really a sport day.